English 1102: Television and Feminism

Dr. Casey Alane Wilson • Georgia Institute of Technology

Tag: television (Page 2 of 3)

Willful Writing


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When words fail, fries and wine will do the trick! A few fries might have aided me in the writing of this very blog post…

In today’s blog post, I will be discussing the willful writing of Shonda Rhimes, in Season 1, Episode 3 of Scandal, “Hell Hath No Fury.” First, I will define “willful” so that the word has appropriate meaning within the context of this blog post. The definition of willful I will be using is, “deliberate, intentional, or done on purpose,” rather than, “a strong sense of will or stubbornness.” Throughout this post, I hope to show you that Rhimes’ writing obtains a very deliberate and intentional purpose.

For this specific episode and the entire series, Shonda Rhimes is credited with the writing. In addition to writing  Scandal,  Rhimes has also written other TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. Rhimes is credited with the production of other widely popular shows like How to Get Away with Murder and Station 19. She also wrote Crossroads, a film about singer, Brittney Spears. Finally, last but certainly not least, she wrote my absolute favorite movie of all time,  Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement!!! Needless to say, Shonda Rhimes has a very successful, and almost unrivaled, writing career, especially in the female television writer and producer arena.

Now, back to the third episode of Scandal.  The dialog in the show is very cold and straight-forward. The characters speak without warm and convey no emotion. I believe Rhimes does this to authenticate Olivia Pope within the harsh, cut-throat environment of Washington and the White House. In this particular episode, Olivia deals with a horrific rape case and yet she shows almost no emotion, and she definitely does not sympathize with the victim. Thus, Rhimes keeps Olivia’s female character from showing “traditional” feminine characteristics to show Olivia can handle the good, bad, and ugly, just like her male peer professionals. Therefore, the harsh dialogue discourages personal affections and reinforces work prioity.

There is no voice-over in Scandal, and I believe that again authenticates the show and its characters. Rhimes would rather have events play out and film the reactions or have the characters voice the plot themselves than have an unknown narrator provide information. The Scandal world is full of strong lawyers and highly successful businessmen, so providing information from a separate, unlinked source would not fit into the rest of the writing in this show.

Rhimes uses silence amongst her characters as a placeholder for emotion. Many times throughout the show, and especially in this episode, Olivia remains quiet instead of demonstrating her own feelings about a situation or scenario. For example, as the rape victim gives her testimony and continuously asks Olivia rhetorical questions, Olivia remains motionless and completely silent.

For this particular episode, I did not notice any literary allusions or callbacks. However, I did notice that Rhimes’ writing aims to put each character in a light of reality and truth. She does not hide Olivia’s cold heart, Quinn’s stupidity, Huck’s anxiety, or Steven’s doubt. Instead, Rhimes almost makes the faults of her characters blatantly obvious, as to appeal to viewers’ sense of reality and relatability.


The Mac-&-Cheese Debate: Identity in “Fresh off the Boat”

The first season finale of “Fresh off the Boat” marks a complete turnaround for the conflict faced by the Huangs. In this episode, Jessica realizes that they have immersed themselves too well into their American surroundings, and she now fears that her family has lost their culture. She then does everything in her power to stop this. What’s interesting about this conflict is that it is the exact opposite of the one the Huangs faced at the beginning of the season. They started with the struggle of feeling out of place and doing their best to assimilate, but now they are faced with the problem of “fitting in too much.” This brings up the theme of identity, the center of this particular episode and the show as a whole.

The exact moment when Jessica realized she was losing her roots (S1:E13)

The episode grapples with the question, “to what extent can you adopt a culture without losing who you really are?” Jessica’s stance at the beginning of the episode is an extreme: to no extent at all. Her strong opposition to everything American around her is a result of her new fear of being “whitewashed.” In contrast, Eddie’s stance appears that it is entirely okay to adopt a new culture. However, the shows true argument doesn’t manifest until the end of the episode, displayed by two key events. The first is when Jessica caves to Louis, professing her love for American TV shows and mac-and-cheese. The second is when Eddie stands up against his friend for making a joke about China. These both perfectly describe the show’s argument. Jessica’s realization conveys to the audience that adopting elements of American culture that you appreciate isn’t necessarily whitewashing. On the other hand, Eddie’s rise shows that is it important to never forget where you are from. As a result, the show’s answer to the question is a compromise. Identities are unique, and while it is fine to embrace what is new, it is important to appreciate what is traditional.

Jessica going “out with the new, in with the old” (S1:E13)

The theme of identity in this show is universal to the entire show. A large number of conflicts within the show relate to the issue of identity, whether it is debating one’s own identity or embracing those of others. “Fresh off the Boat” as a whole is a comment on a very real scenario for millions of American families and their own personal debates with identity. A large challenge with moving to America is acclimating to an entirely different culture while attempting to maintain one’s own. However, this challenge leads to one of the best qualities of America: the blending of cultures. The sharing of food, music, and traditions has allowed for identities to be spread and shared, creating new connections that would not have been present otherwise. The first season finale shows this exactly: heritage is essential, but there’s no harm with the Huangs enjoying some mac-and-cheese.

Gender in Jessica Jones

The gender spread in Jessica Jones is pretty even, but it probably edges towards more women. The main protagonist, Jessica, is a female, and the villain, Kilgrave, is a male. The other main characters on the show are Trish, Jeri, Pam, Malcolm, Will, and Luke Cage with the first three being female and the last three being male. Jessica Jones even features mental disorders such as OCD and a main character, Jeri, who is lesbian. The show definitely focuses more on female characters overall, but that is mainly due to the main protagonists being women. The show focuses on Jessica struggling to overcome and defeat an old enemy, Kilgrave, with the help of  a few friends. We see Jessica struggling in both her private and public life as it is thrown around by Kilgrave. However, the show also takes breaks to show the hardships of other characters such as Malcolm with his heroin addiction, and Luke with losing his wife.

Jessica Jones Characters

From what I’ve watched so far, the main characters making tough decisions are mainly Jessica, Malcolm, Trish, and Luke with most of the other characters just reacting to what happens and following orders. Jessica Jones definitely focuses more on women making the main decisions and driving the show than men, which is a nice switch up for a change.  This is important because most TV shows have men as the driving characters in the show who make all the decisions. It is important to show how women have to make tough choices and decisions on television.

Jessica Jones shows a lot more women in higher classes than men. A lot of women characters are very successful in jobs such as TV star, law firm owner, and doctor. The main male characters don’t have it as nice with them being a struggling heroin addict, small bar owner, and police officer. This show does a very good job of showing career women in television in high up jobs in society.  There is also a very big emphasis on mental illness in Jessica Jones with Jessica, Luke, and Will all having trouble with PTSD, and Jessica’s upstairs neighbor having extreme OCD.

Overall, Jessica Jones features and focuses on slightly more women than men, but does a very good job in representing multiple genders, races, and mental illnesses.

Sitcom Cinematography in Fresh Off the Boat: Similarities and Differences

From the first glance, Fresh Off the Boat may seem to be shot similarly to most sitcoms, going so far as to have an establishing shot over each new location, but in reality there are several key differences between how Fresh Off the Boat is shot and other sitcoms that we are all familiar with. For this post I will review season 1, episode 3: The Shunning. In this episode the show begins with an expositional recap of the show that highlights Luis’s struggle to run a restaurant and Jessica and Eddie’s struggle to overcome their otherness in the community. This recap consists of quick shots of dialogue that help to reinforce the ongoing conflicts between Eddie and his peer group, and Luis and his restaurant.

Similarly to most sitcoms, a lot of the comic and dramatic action unfold in a common gathering area, in this case, a living room. Early in the episode Jessica visits with the other neighborhood wives to shoot the breeze and discuss an upcoming block party. The camera zooms in on the character who is talking at the given moment but it keeps a wide enough shot to include the surrounding characters, which helps to reinforce Jessica’s overwhelmed state as she tries to blend in with the neighbors.

(The Huang parents while still being shot together are given a wide enough shot to convey both their body language and a full background.)

The dialogue between two characters in a sitcom will usually switch camera angles to focus on the character who is currently speaking in the show. In Fresh Off the Boat that is most certainly the case but the camera will also include the shoulder or back of the person being talked to, so as to give a sense of their presence in the dialogue. This practice reflects the shows overall tendency to rarely depict the Huangs by themselves. Since one of the focuses of this show is to portray the struggle of members of the Huang family to fit in, most of the show is designed to feature interpersonal interaction rather than individual experience.

The Backstory of the Hilarious Dialogues of New Girl

New Girl is a show that is known for its simple and hilarious jokes. This episode of New Girl called “Cece Crashes” is written by Rachel Axler. She has also written episodes of How I Met Your Mother, Parks and Recreation and Veep, which are all shows that are somewhat similar to New Girl. The dialogue is structured to maintain a constant dialogue between the characters. There is not a voiceover on the show unlike some others, so there isn’t a narrator to fill in the gaps. Since this show is light in terms of plot, a narrator is not necessary. Shows usually use voiceovers to inform the audience about the plot or more about the characters and what they’re thinking. But in this show, it is usually pretty evident on the motives and situations of the characters.

Silence is usually not very apparent in the episode. When there is silence, it is usually to set up an interaction between two or more of the characters and to create a sense of build-up in the plot line for the episode. Otherwise, this episode was very dialogue heavy. Especially since this episode created a high amount of tension between Jess and Nick, there was a lot of dialogue especially from Jess about her dilemma of having a romantic relationship with one of the guys that she lives with.

Finally, the writing of the show always seems very natural. Sometimes, in sitcoms, the writing, and dialogue is usually somewhat forced and awkward because the writers try too hard to be funny. The humor is always forced but in New Girl, merely the interactions between the characters are what makes the show humorous and it is very easy to watch. The writing is along the style which I prefer which is why I choose to review this show. I am very excited to see all the jokes New Girl has in store for the rest of the season (:

Jess/Nick and their quarrels

Career Representation in TV Over Time – Annotated Bibliography

Elasmar, Michael, Kazumi Hasegawa, and Mary Brain. “The Portrayal of Women in U.S. Prime Time Television.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, vol. 43, no. 1, 1999, pp. 20-34. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/227281152?accountid=11107.

This paper mainly focuses on how women are portrayed and how that affects children watching it. It illustrates how previous researchers only tracked the presence of women and that the portrayal of women is what really matters. The article also recognized how men were over represented on television with 58% having professional roles compared to 15% in real life. Women were more likely to have non-serious roles than men. They found that only 44% of women were depicted as working and only 21% of married women were depicted as working. This research paper is important because it focuses on a time period outside of modern television. This helps our topic a lot since it is the portrayal of working women over time. It is further important since it is full of statistics that help illustrate the differences between women and men in prime-time television. It is worth reading to understand the difference of working women in the 70s and today.

Grodin, Debra. “Women Watching Television: Gender, Class, and Generation in the American Television Experience.” Women and Language, vol. 14, no. 2, 1991, pp. 35. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/198799896?accountid=11107.

This paper analyzes another paper over how and why working women are portrayed the way they are on television. It goes over how women like to identify with certain types of characters over others. This paper goes into further detail on how middle-class women dislike watching women with high paying careers because it is very different from their own lives. It notes how shows with female characters similar to an average middle-class women are more likely to be watched and enjoyed and enjoyed by their average female viewer. This source is importance since it goes into why shows mainly depict middle-class women working normal medium paying jobs or as stay-at-home moms. It does not contain lots of statistics and data on working women in television, but it gives good insight into what types of characters women are most likely to identify and relate too. It will be important to relate the ideas of this article to data and statistics from other articles.

Glascock, Jack, and Thomas E. Ruggiero. “Representations of Class and Gender on Primetime Spanish-Language Television in the United States.” Communication Quarterly, vol. 52, no. 4, 2004, pp. 390-402. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/216482966?accountid=11107.

This article goes over class and gender in Spanish-speaking television in the United States. It argues that men are more likely to have higher paying jobs and less childcare responsibilities than women. The paper further argues that lighter skinned characters were more likely to be in a higher class and better position than darker skinned characters. While women were represented equally to men in the shows analyzed, they were less likely to have jobs and even less likely to have higher paying jobs than men. This paper is very important because it relates directly to our topic and focuses on a different subset of American television and viewers. It illustrates that even in Latino television, women are still unequal to men in the roles they play on television. Men are still more likely to be the providers for the household and most women are either stay at home moms or work low paying jobs. Overall, this source is worth reading in understanding the gender differences in a different subset of American television.

Ulaby, Neda. “Working Women On Television: A Mixed Bag At Best.” npr, 18 May 2018, https://www.npr.org/2013/05/18/184832930/working-women-on-television-a-mixed-bag-at-best.

This article goes over careers in characters in prime-time television and compares the statistics to real life statistics. They use statistics from a research Geena Davis’s study. They found that 44.3% of women in speaking roles were gainfully employed on television. The article compares this to the real life percent of 46.7% and decided that prime-time television is pretty decent at depicting women with careers. However, the paper points out that television is not accurate in age and children in working women. Almost none of working women in television have children and most are under 40. This article is important because it goes over important statistics that relate to our topic. It is very important in comparing the statistics from television to real life to see if television is accurately portraying its characters. The article is definitely worth reading as it gives insight on how accurate the portrayal of female characters are in prime-time television.

Smith, Brittany, “Gender Representation and Occupational Portrayals in Primetime Television” (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 1673. http://scholarworks.uark.edu/etd/1673

This study looked at gender representation and occupational portrayals on primetime television. The paper looks at lots of statistics and compares them to previous studies. While there has been improvement, the portrayal of women is not where it should be and lots of stereotypes of women still exist in television. This paper also looked into which stations had made the most improvement, and which stations had made the least. The study found that there still needs to be lots of improvement to get these shows up to par with reality as lots of women are still portrayed as housewives or blue-collared workers. This study is important because it contains lots of statistics of different news stations that relate directly to our topic of working women in television, and it relates the statistics to previous studies to show the change in recent years. It provides lots of insight on which areas need improvement the most and on what stations.

Emilaire, Sierra. “A Look At Women Represented In Media.” StudyBreak. 17 July 2017, https://studybreaks.com/culture/women-representation-media/

This article takes a look at how women are portrayed in television and how that relates to young girls’ lives. It states that stereotypes that come from TV shows like women are supposed to be housewives and that women cannot become CEOs puts limitations on girls growing up. This piece explains how representation is important because women shape their perceptions of themselves based on what they see in Television and movies. This article states how there is not enough female characters with high-paying jobs or leads in shows. This article is important because it illustrates the importance of having accurate depictions of women in society and the effect it can have on young girls growing up. It is definitely worth reading to understand the effect having different portrayals of women can have on society and individual people. This article also explains how women in these roles in television are already accepted and liked and should appear more often.

r e s e a r c h

Medich, Rob et al. “Flashes.” Entertainment Weekly, no. 678, 2002, p. 16,


This article from Entertainment Weekly breaks down some occupations shown on TV. It compares the prominence of these occupations to the composition of those occupations in real life. A notable comparison comes in the medical field, where 12.1% of the surveyed television characters are employed in the medical field, despite only 0.9% of people work in this field in real life. Additionally, only 6.4% of sampled characters work in management or executive positions, despite 31% of real people working in these positions. None of the metrics for included fields in fantasy versus reality are anywhere near one another.

Despite the shortness of this article, it serves to illustrate good points relative to the topic at hand. Television presents scenarios that are not lifelike so that people can live vicariously through it. In this instance, the life of a medical employee is something not many people experience. However, this also shows that implicit bias may have a hand in altering the reality of television. While these data may not be directly applicable to the research question, this does show the disparity between reality and fiction in television.


Durkin, Kevin and Bradley Nugent. “Kindergarten Children’s Gender-Role Expectations for Television Actors.” Sex Roles., vol. 38, no. 6, 1998, pp. 387-402,


This article begins with an exposition of gender roles defined in television, with men holding more typically masculine roles and women holding more traditionally feminine ones. Previous studies have attempted to form a correlation between this and children’s perception of gender roles, with varying and sometimes contradictory results. A study is then detailed, in which children’s tendency to assign gender to certain jobs was assessed. Children aged four to five were asked to watch a scene with a female voiceover, featuring equal numbers of male and female characters, if any, and identify if a man, woman, or both would be suitable for performing a given action. The children were also asked whether or not they thought they would be good at said task later in life. The children’s response to the first task was very clearly in favor of the predetermined typical gender roles. Whether or not this was due to television was not addressed.

This article illustrates some of the importance, or lack thereof, of the issue at hand. While gender stereotyping may exist in television, it may not have any large effects on children. However, children do end up with biases somehow, and this may be the result of television. The use of a female voiceover in this study is interesting, and may cause skewed results, but the data is already pretty clear and unified, so I doubt it.


Greenberg, Bradley S. and Larry Collette. “The Changing Faces on Tv: A Demographic Analysis of Network Television’s New Seasons, 1966-1992.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media., vol. 41, no. 1, 1997, pp. 1-13,


This article goes through a very thorough scrutinization of new characters in television shows over twenty-seven years, from 1966 to 1992. 88% of characters in this time period were white, with only thirteen total Hispanic and twelve total Asian characters. It was found that on average, characters were 65% male and 35% female, with the closest to real ratio of male to female being 49% female in 1984. Characters were never even or majority female. Females’ appearances on television were, on average, ten years younger than males, assigned to more stereotypical roles, fewer in number, and more likely to be supporting characters. Additionally, females were most likely to hold the position of married mother at home. As far as occupations are concerned, 17% of females represented “professional” careers, as opposed to men, of whom 27% held such roles. Males were up to five times more likely than females to hold salesperson positions, and females were found to be four times as likely as men to be domestics or homemakers.

This article holds some pretty damning evidence. While I’m sure there has been a lot of progress regarding representation in television since 1992 and certainly since 1966, this article definitely details this as a large problem. The fact that gender alone of characters is so skewed, in addition to the huge disparity in jobs held by the sexes, is honestly disturbing. This is right along the path that our research question takes, and it paints a picture similar to the on we had in mind initially- that women were and are underrepresented and misrepresented occupation-wise in television. This really makes me wonder why such a thing manifests so blatantly in television.


Farrington, Jan. “Jobs on Tv.” Career World, vol. 27, no. 6, 1999, pp. 6-12,


This magazine article takes an interesting stance on the issue at hand. The author proposes that in the world of television, it is common for people to achieve more than in real life, including career-wise. Additionally, she alleges that minorities hold more diverse jobs in television. However, she touches on the fact that practically only office jobs, law and justice work, and medical field jobs are portrayed on television. The author also comments on how television is significantly differentiable from reality, but that’s for a good reason, as television is meant to be a break away from one’s reality.

I am skeptical of much of the claims the author makes in this article. She alleges that television is a world where people are represented in a better light than in reality, when the exact opposite is proposed in the previous article- specifically that women and minorities are severely underrepresented in television. The author does bring up an important point, though. Television is meant to be different from reality, as it is a form of entertainment. But this begs the question: when is is okay to deviate from reality and when is that unacceptable? Certainly having an overwhelming majority of characters in television being male is detrimental in some way, and conforming to gender stereotypes is definitely not a good thing either.


Smith, Stacy L et al. “Assessing Gender-Related Portrayals in Top-Grossing G-Rated Films.” Sex Roles., vol. 62, no. 11-12, 2010, pp. 774-786, doi:10.1007/s11199-009-9736-z.


This article explores the roles of characters in G-rated movies and how these roles relate to the gender of the character. It details the ratio of female leads to males, one to about two and a half, and the traits that female characters possess. Females tended to have more “good” traits than males and they were more traditionally attractive. Additionally, most characters were white. Females were much more likely than males to be in a relationship and be a parent. However, occupations of characters were not found to be related to gender, except for military occupations, in which males held more.

While not directly addressing television, this is a closely related body of work. This report relates to the first article recorded above, in which children identified gender roles in certain tasks. This article exposes a very important piece of information for our purposes- G-rated movies don’t end up discriminating occupation by gender as much as television may. This is interesting, since jobs on television do exhibit gender discrimination. However, total gender and race disparities remain.


Signorielli, Nancy. ” Aging on Television: Messages Relating to Gender, Race, and Occupation in Prime Time.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, vol. 48, no. 2, 2004, pp. 279-301, doi:10.1207/s15506878jobem4802_7.


This article scrutinizes many facets of older characters in television, including gender, race, and occupation. It finds that in general, older characters are underrepresented. Additionally, it shows that while younger characters typically held more “prestigious” jobs than their older counterparts, among older characters, men typically held more “prestigious” jobs than women, and whites held more “prestigious” jobs than minorities. The author then discusses the findings through the lens of role modeling. The fact that fewer older people exist in prestigious positions in television contributes to a lack of role models in young people.

This article deals with older characters and how these characters are represented in television. It contains some information applicable to our research in that it explores occupation and gender of these characters. The article, like the rest of our research, basically states that being old, being a woman, and being a minority are all ways to identify that a character on television is less likely to have a good job. Furthermore, I definitely agree with this author’s comment on the lack of older role models in television, as it is exactly what makes this research important. This under-representation may lead children to believe that they are doomed to less important jobs as they grow older.

The Role of Female Characters in Doctor Who from 1960-Present

Colgan, Jenny. “The Bolshie, Brilliant History of the Women of Doctor Who.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 27 Aug. 2018, www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/aug/27/the-bolshie-brilliant-history-of-the-women-of-doctor-who.

This article from The Guardian details the history of women in the show Doctor Who. It speaks of Sarah Jane Smith, a companion who began her stint with the third doctor and ended up being the companion who was on the show the longest. Her character was a feminist and actually kept her job as an investigative reporter after becoming a companion, which was a big deal because the companions before her had not kept their day job and usually did not exhibit any feminist characteristics. The article also analyzes how there was no sexual tension between the doctor and their companions in early seasons but as the seasons progress it becomes more prevalent. This shows how the companions’ roles have become more sexualized over the years. This article has value because it shows the history of women in Doctor Who and how their roles have changed throughout the show’s run.


Gregg, Peter B. “England Looks to the Future: The Cultural Forum Model and Doctor Who.” The Journal of Popular Culture, vol. 37, no. 4, July 2004, pp. 648–661., doi:10.1111/j.0022-3840.2004.00091.x.

This peer-reviewed journal gives insight into how as Doctor Who progresses the cultural structure of the show reflects the cultural structure of society. Most of the show’s themes throughout the years have reflected current cultural norms and popular ideology. The journal also details how some decisions about the direction of the show in the past were made by the actor playing the Doctor, such as the fourth doctor, Tom Baker. The person who played the doctor made decisions about how not only the doctor would be portrayed, but also how companions would be portrayed and viewed by the doctor. This is significant because the Doctor, up until 2018, was always portrayed as a man, and the input from a man’s perspective can be very different than from a woman’s. This journal has value because it shows how the show’s themes and values change as time goes on, which in turn means that gender roles would change.


Orthia, Lindy A., and Rachel Morgain. “The Gendered Culture of Scientific Competence: A     Study of Scientist Characters in Doctor Who 1963–2013.” Sex Roles, vol. 75, no. 3-4, Feb. 2016, pp. 79–94., doi:10.1007/s11199-016-0597-y.

This peer-reviewed journal delves into the scientific roles that women have played throughout the run of the show Doctor Who. The study found that males and females in the show are not equally represented but they both equally exhibit scientific capability. Women are able to operate the TARDIS and perform important scientific calculations just as well as the men. They make almost as many, if not as many, crucial decisions as the doctor does. Despite this, there are some details of how characters are depicted in the show that indirectly devalue women, such as inadequate male scientists lacking masculinity and having feminine qualities. Lacking masculinity is seen as negative, which therefore means acting like a woman is seen as negative. This journal has value because it shows that although women are represented as scientific equals in the show there are indirect ways that they are not represented equally.


Pelusi, Alessandra J., “Doctor Who and the Creation of a Non-Gendered Hero Archetype” (2014). Theses and Dissertations. Paper 272.

In this thesis/dissertation the author explores how Doctor Who has created one of the only non-gendered characters depicted on television. They do this by analyzing the female and male characters and their roles within the show. The paper also brings up the interesting point that the doctor and their companions are dependent on each other, which elevates the importance of companions and in turn increases the relevance of female characters in the show. Female characters are seen as true game-changers because they are able to change the course of the show simply by voicing their opinions to the doctor. Although there will always be some stereotypes, due to their relevance in popular culture, there are less gender stereotypes displayed in the show due to these points the author explored. This thesis/dissertation has value because it demonstrates how gender does not play a direct part in Doctor Who and women have a significant role in the show.


Peters, Jasper. “Nothing Will Ever Be The Same Again: Exploring Faith, Doubt, and the Disciple     Journey of a Companion to the Doctor.” Implicit Religion, vol. 18, no. 4, 2015, pp. 499–506., doi:10.1558/imre.v18i4.29089.

This peer-reviewed journal demonstrates how the Doctor’s companions, who are predominantly female, sway the Doctor’s actions and how their decisive roles affect the show. The Doctor is the main character of the show and will sometimes make split decisions on their own, but the companions, despite their usual devotedness to the Doctor, will challenge their ideas and significantly impact the plot. The emotions that the Doctor feels toward the companions and vice versa also affect the show and give female companions a symbolic role in the show, despite their role being simply titled as “companion”. There are times presented in the show where a companion and the doctor will actually have romantic feelings for each other, which complicates the situation even more when it comes to decision-making. This journal has value because it talks about how companions can sway the doctor’s decisions and therefore play an important part of the plot.


Ras, Ilse A. “Doctor Who: Companions and Sexism, 1963-1989.” Dr Ilse A. Ras, 2 June 2014, iaras22.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/doctor-who-companions-and-sexism-1963-1989/.

In this blog post the author explores whether or not the show Doctor Who is sexist. They decide that the show is simultaneously sexist and not sexist at the same time. The author cites blatant examples of sexism, such as outfits that female companions have worn and certain things they were made to say. Certain companions have been made to wear revealing costumes and/or bikinis that do not contribute to the plot of the show. There are also times where there is indirect sexism in the show, such as women being seen as a lesser figure in decision-making. She also observes that pre-1989, most of the companions had highly skilled jobs such as a journalist, teacher and heart surgeon. In the most reason seasons many companions have jobs that do not require a college degree. This article has value because it addresses the role of women in Doctor Who and whether or not their role can be seen as sexist.


Gender Roles in Children’s Television Annotated Bib

CherneyKamala London, Isabelle,D. “Gender-Linked Differences in the Toys, Television shows, Computer Games, and Outdoor Activities of 5- to 13-Year-Old Children.” Sex Roles, vol. 54, no. 9-10, 2006, pp. 717-726. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/225367898?accountid=11107, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11199-006-9037-8. This article analyzes the preferences of male and female children with regards to their sources of entertainment. It found that female children have a general tendency to watch more television while male children spend more time partaking in other activities. One of the more interesting findings was the opposing trend in the femininity of girls’ television shows and other forms of childhood entertainment. Girls’ choice of television tended to become more feminine as they grew older, while their other forms of entertainment tended to become less feminine over time. There was an noteable preference for entertainment within a child’s gender. However, this was more present in boys than girls. This article is relevant, because it shows the rapidity of the formation of gendered opinions in a child’s mind. While this focuses on a variety of forms of entertainment, the most relevant focus for our research is on television. One issue with the relevance of this source is that rather than focus on the effect entertainment has on a child’s gender stereotypes it focuses on the gender-stereotype’s effect on a child’s choice in entertainment.

Childs, Nancy M., and Jill K. Maher. “Gender in Food Advertising to Children: Boys Eat First.” British Food Journal, vol. 105, no. 6, 2003, pp. 408-419. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/224679133?accountid=11107. This article focuses on food advertisements and the roles of the genders within them. Based off certain categories such as main characters, primary product users, and voice overs, the study managed to quantify the bias. Despite the foods being advertised to both genders, the study found that there was a statistically significant gender bias within the advertisements – more so than for non food advertisements. Boys played a more dominant role in these commercials than females did. This therefore reinforces the idea of male superiority and dominance in a child’s mind. Furthermore, it might begin to instill the dangerous concept that females should consume less food, because food advertisements are not targeted for her. This article is important, because it shows how things that are not normally thought of as gendered could have a large impact on a child. Children spend an increasing amount of time watching advertisements, so it is important to be made aware of the effects on a child’s mind. While this is relevant to our research, because of its presence on television, it may be flawed because its focus is not on television shows.

Meyer, Michaela D.E., and Megan M. Wood. “Sexuality and teen television: emerging adults respond to representations of queer identity on Glee.” Sexuality and Culture, vol. 17, no. 3, 2013, p. 434+. Gender Studies Collection, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A343054749/PPGB?u=gainstoftech&sid=PPGB&xid=5342f42b. This particular study focused on adolescent responses to sexuality in the popular teen show Glee. In terms of the sexuality, teens were much more prone to notice the queer sexuality rather than the heterosexual. This is despite the shows major plot lines and main character focus on heterosexual relationship. This reveals teen tendency to relate sexuality with a nonhetersexual outlook. Many of the male participants in particular mentioned that they were ashamed to say they watched the show, because of their heteronormativity. The show involves song and theater which are normally associated with queer stereotypes, therefore the men were scared to be identified as nonheterosexual for their enjoyment of the show. The show was commonly viewed as progressive for its high population of queer characters. This study truly highlights a teens view on sexuality and the development of it through shows. It is relevant to our research, because teen audiences are still developing their minds based off the television they watch, yet it is clear that by the time they reach their teen years significant biases have already been formed.

Powell, Kimberly A., and Lori Abels. “Sex-Role Stereotypes in TV Programs Aimed at the Preschool Audience: An Analysis of Teletubbies and Barney & Friends.”Women and Language, vol. 25, no. 1, 2002, pp. 14. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/198879860?accountid=11107. This article is arguing that gender stereotypes begin to be enforced on children starting at very young ages thorugh popular television shows such as Barney and Friends and the Teletubbies. Through analysis of the roles of males and females on the show, this study found that males tend to be leaders while females just follow within both television shows. They also found that the traditional roles of mother and father were reinforced as caretaker and working man respectively. This is relevant, because it shows a lot about what standards modern society is pushing through to further generations. These shows are some of the first introductions children get about gender roles. Therefore, it is worth noting so that stereotypes can be corrected for further generations. This is exceptionally relevant in our research on gender stereotypes in children’s tv shows, because while it covers that topic, it narrows in on the very youngest audience. These are the first impressions youth have to form opinions on the matter.

Preston, Elizabeth, and Cindy L. White. “Commodifying Kids: Branded Identities and the Selling of Adspace on Kids’ Networks.” Communication Quarterly, vol. 52, no. 2, 2004, pp. 115-128. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/216483170?accountid=11107. This article focuses on the new role of children as consumers and how  children’s television networks are using this to sell adspace. Theses advertisers are branding children in a way that it is already idealizing what a child should look like and the kind of lifestyle they should live. When the child realizes they do not have that they proceed to asking their parent to buy them the product. This quickly brings the idea into a child’s mind that their worth is defined by the brands they use. This materialistic consumerism is being introduced to children at a very young age and they going to be influenced by these ideas as they become active citizens. This is relevant to our research for its mention of gender in these ads and how some brands are throwing away gender neutrality in order to target a smaller group better. This however is a minor point in the article and therefore might not be entirely relevant.

Schooler, Deborah, Janna L. Kim, and Lynn Sorsoli. “Setting Rules Or Sitting Down: Parental Mediation of Television Consumption and Adolescent Self-Esteem, Body Image, and Sexuality.” Sexuality Research & Social Policy, vol. 3, no. 4, 2006, pp. 49-62. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/858939798?accountid=11107, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/srsp.2006.3.4.49. This article studies the implications of parental involvement on a child’s self esteem and self acceptance. According to the results of the study, children whose parents simply sat with them to watch television experience higher self-esteems when they grow up. The higher the parental involvement in the child’s television, the higher the self-esteem. For girls, parental involvement was also correlated with positive body image. This is because for girls self esteem has a much higher correlation with body image than it does for boys. This journal seemed to show a particular bias against sexuality, because of its constant recommendations about how to remedy and avoid adolescent discovery of their sexuality. This is quite relevant to our research. Not only does it discuss the effect of gender in television on children, but it also describes certain effects of some of this television being filtered out. It is worth reading to find out the different effects television can have on young girls versus boys.

Let’s Go to the Beach, Beach!! (while simultaneously denying our problems and elevating our anxiety)

Rebecca and Valencia feud on the party bus on the way to the beach.


In Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Rebecca Bunch is prone to getting herself into, wait for it, crazy situations. In season 1 episode 9, “I’m Going to the Beach with Josh and His Friends!”, Bunch gets herself into one of those situations when Valencia invites her to go to the beach with the “crew” that consists of Josh, Greg, White Josh, Hector and Valencia. The writing in the episode is quite unique, as it usually is in the series. This episode was written by Dan Gregor, known for How I Met Your Mother (2011-2014), and Doug Mand, known for How I Met Your Mother (2011-2014).

The dialogue begins after Rebecca goes and sees a movie by herself. She walks out of the movie theater and sings about how she “totally has friends”. This dialogue shows how lonely Rebecca is because she’s dealing with the fact that she actually has no friends and can only talk to herself about the situation. Throughout the episode there is also a lot of dialogue attempting to directly address the issues that Rebecca are facing. Much of the current conflict is that Rebecca won’t admit that she’s in love with Josh Chan and hiding that truth is affecting her social life and her mental health. Paula calls Rebecca out in the episode and states that Rebecca is in love with Josh Chan and that by going to the beach she is going to be humiliated by Valencia and it’s going to be “another one of her disasters”. This dialogue is significant because it’s saying what we’re all thinking and the direct format presents reality right in front of Rebecca, which, probably, along with the fact that Paula gets mad at Rebecca for being in denial, heightens her anxiety about the situation. There isn’t a voice over which doesn’t really matter because most of the situations in the show are presented by the characters directly.

There isn’t much intentional silence in the episode, but there is a little bit at the beginning. When Rebecca is walking out of the movie theater alone there is muffled chatter between the friend groups outside of the theater. This muffled speaking accentuates how alone Rebecca feels. There are several external references about Seinfeld, Magnum P.I., and The Butterfly Effect. Most of these references are for comedic purposes within the small jokes and jabs and don’t have a huge bearing on the plot. Despite this, the use of these references in creative and makes references to some niche humor.

The writing in this episode was very direct, as it is a lot of the time during the show. However, the episode dives deeper into Rebecca’s insecurities and anxieties and shows how the move to West Covina has affected her. Josh Chan’s cluelessness about Rebecca’s feelings for him and the reasons why she moved to West Covina is a recurring detail that stands out to me in the writing, especially instances where the characters indirectly reference it and it goes over Josh’s head.

Killjoys Experiences with a New Theme – Non-Sexual Relationships

Today, we’ll be exploring the themes present in “Killjoys”. Since you’re back, I expect that you have a genuine interest in “Killjoys” and have already watched it. I’ll try to minimize the number of spoilers, but if you are still worried you may consider watching the first 5 episodes before reading on.


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Michelle Lovretta


In August 2015, the showrunner of the Killjoys series Michelle Lovretta interviewed with Veronica Scott of USA Today – Happy Ever After. In the interview, Michelle points out one of the major themes that ran through season 1 of Killjoys – a “non-sexual relationship” between characters of different genders. In fact, the sexual relationship of main characters with others of opposite sex have become somewhat defining of television shows since the 2000s. This includes major hits such as Jane the Virgin, Game of Thrones and The Good Place, which have featured sexual relationships between characters of opposite gender (or sometimes the same) as one of the storylines, for some being the entire driving force of the show.


Hannah John-Kamen as Dutch and Luke Macfarlane as D'avin on Killjoys. (Photo: Syfy.com)

Main Characters Dutch and D’avin of Killjoys


Michelle’s Killjoys certainly proves that sexual relationship between characters within a TV show isn’t the key to a successful series. Adopting a non-sexual relationship theme, the relationship between Dutch and Johnny, as well as D’avin who joins later on, is more of a brother and sister relationship. They certainly do not have any sexual affection towards each other (please don’t argue the relationship between Johnny and Lucy is), and none of their action and the decisions they make can be attributed it. Instead, the whole season is progressed by the values of each character, both similar and different, such as families, friends and loyalty. The departure from using sexual relationships as a storyline and adopting a non-sexual relationship theme brings out the brotherhood and sisterhood in the series together with the added benefit of making the motives of characters appear much brighter. At the same time, this usage of the theme of non-sexual relationship criticises the overgeneralisation of sexual relationship in pop culture while providing an alternative for the audience.


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Lucy in Killjoys


Furthermore, the successful adoption of a non-sexual relationship theme demonstrates romance isn’t essential for TV shows to grasp the attention of its audience. Instead, one without could still have the same elements of action, sympathy and arguments while being more easily understandable and relatable. This provides the audience with a completely different experience, probably one that the general population would easily connect and relate to. After all, not everyone has experienced or like romance, while on the contrary, everyone has experienced some kind of brotherhood/sisterhood.

This brings us to what this theme of non-sexual relationship contributes. While it certainly makes us reflect how pop culture has been overusing sexual-relationship to capture audiences’ attention, it also brings out the decisions we as human beings often must make; what is more important? Family? Friend? Loyalty? Responsibilities …… In case you need a reminder, life is not always a choice between who do you love or choosing between a sexual relationship or something else.


Liszewski, Bridget. “KILLJOYS’ MICHELLE LOVRETTA WRITES WHAT SHE LOVES”. Thetvjunkies.Com, 2016, https://www.thetvjunkies.com/killjoys-michelle-lovretta-writes-what-she-loves/. Accessed 11 Sept 2018.

Sara-goodwin. “Interview: Killjoys’ Tamsen McDonough Talks Fan Experiences, Playing a Spaceship & Being Part of the MCU.” The Mary Sue, The Mary Sue, 1 Nov. 2016, www.themarysue.com/interview-killjoys-tamsen-mcdonough/. Accessed 12 Sept 2018.

Scott, Veronica. “Interview: Michelle Lovretta, Creator of SyFy’s ‘Killjoys’.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 29 June 2016, happyeverafter.usatoday.com/2015/08/20/veronica-scott-killjoys-michelle-lovretta-interview/. Accessed 11 Sept 2018.



An Issue For All Women

Crowded around each other expressing excitement and joy, the men of FYI discuss a night of opportunities that awaits them. When Murphy Brown enters the conversation is quickly hushed, as the subject is something they know will agitate her. The night they are discussing takes place at the last men’s only club in D.C, meaning Murphy is excluded simply because of her gender. The episode chronicles her fight against this, illuminating the sexism that continued to exist in the wealthy workrooms of 1989 America.

While the episode follows Murphy in her individual battle, the overall issue is one that affects more than just her. A notable moment occurs in the beginning of the episode when Miles is explaining that Murphy has no place in the club. At this moment, Corky quickly jumps into the conversation and her interruption is met with a cold shoulder as Miles shrugs her comment off stating “Corky, you’re not even in this conversation”. “Every woman in this room is in this conversation”, Corky quickly responds, illuminating that this single argument is undeniably connected to a greater issue of gender inequality. Backed by a multitude of other women, this statement is powerful, despite it being subsequently dismissed by the writers with an offside joke.

As the storyline progresses, we see Murphy’s multiple attempts at “breaking the sex barrier” and the rude and demeaning responses she receives from the men she encounters. When she first attends the club the manager bars her, claiming that her “behavior is inappropriate”, despite her being a highly respected journalist whose behavior is perfectly in line with the clubs policies. Later, when she manages to become a member due to discrepancies in the rulebook, every fellow member treats her rudely and eventually all of the men leave due to their discomfort with her presence. It is a disheartening and frustrating scene, documenting the ridiculous and childish attitude men had (and some still have) towards the other sex. While Murphy Brown often is able to triumph over her challenges, she fails in this episode, a smart choice by the writes which acknowledges that it will take more than one woman, no matter how incredible she is, to fight the system of inequality that women are subject to.

The episode does create hope in the matter, however, with the change witnessed in the character Jim. When first confronted with his good friend and coworker Murphy Brown’s desires to “infiltrate” the men’s club, he completely shuts her down. This dismissal continues throughout the episode until he experiences first hand the disrespect Murphy has to endure from the men in this club. A final scene depicts him fighting against the men in the club who he previously stood beside, showing that progress is possible when it comes to sexism and gender inequality.  

Murphy Brown: Always relevant.

New Girl: Simple Cinematography Unlike the Normal Sitcom

While watching New Girl, the show takes on the generic format of a T.V. sitcom with quick shots where the camera will shift to the character speaking. Throughout the episode, specifically during the most recent episode, “Kryptonite”, the shots would consist of the characters talking to one another, and the camera would quickly shift to the face of another to highlight their reaction to the others. The reactions of characters to each other is the main basis of comedy for this show. The quick shots are important to the show because they keep the audience engaged. In fast-moving shows like New Girl, quick and dynamic shots are important because if the camera work is not crisp, the audience is likely to get bored.

In terms of lighting, the show is very well lit. The episodes are generally colorful as Jess has a very colorful personality and it’s enhanced by the background of the shots. Specifically, in this episode, about half of the episode is shot outside which is different from the previous episode, where most of the episode took place within the apartment where all the main characters live. The color scheme of this episode was still colorful but even when the characters were outside, the colors were still a bit subdued. I believe that the colors were subdued at times to fit the theme of the episode. The episode was about Jess getting over a breakup and finding herself again and it could represent Jess losing the happy part of herself for a guy for a period of time.

The directors of cinematography and visuals of New Girl do a great job of keeping the audience engaged without being overwhelming.  This means that the cinematography is very simple

This shows how the camera shifts from one character to another

Usually, sitcoms have fake audience laughter in the background and more sound effects to enhance the show. This allows New Girl to be more simple and for the comedy to be more natural through the show. Watching New Girl has been great because it’s a simple, funny and unique T.V. show that always finds new ways to make me laugh!

Not Too Broad, Not Too Specific

Hey, everyone! My name is Faisal Chaudry, and I am a Civil Engineering student from Marietta, Georgia. I anticipate graduating with the class of 2022, but you never know what might come up along the way.

I have taken advanced English courses in high school, like AP Language and AP Literature. ENGL 1102 is the only English course that I will be taking at university, and frankly, I am quite relieved. Although I do relatively well in English classes, I always find them to be my least favorite course. I can read and write well, but having required books to read is so demotivating for me. Also, writing essays has always been a constant annoyance of mine, especially timed writings.

looking at you, AP Lit teacher

Despite my general frustration with English, I am excited for ENGL 1102. Rather than writing long, worthless essays and reading extensive novels, I get to watch TV shows for homework!

when your hw is to binge s1 of The Good Place

I enjoy using visual and electronic communication because I express myself more through showing others how I feel or what I believe rather than just telling or writing about it. I struggle the most with oral communication because I am not a sociable person, so speaking confidently is not my strong suit. However, I hope to build my oral skills so that I can interact with my peers throughout this semester.

I am aware of the role television has in perpetuating feminism in the mainstream. I have three sisters who are TV fanatics, so I tend to know a great deal about female-driven TV shows and storylines because they will unsolicitedly tell me everything about what is happening. Therefore, I am somewhat familiar with shows like Jane the Virgin, The Bold Type, and New Girl (not saying I ever watched them).

As for me, I consider myself an aficionado of television. I do not frequently start new shows all the time, but when I do, I will binge it. No question about it. Shameless is one of my top shows right now, and I binged all eight seasons within a month. I also enjoy BBC miniseries, like Sherlock, Luther, and Peaky Blinders, because they have captivating characters and suspenseful story arcs that keep me hooked.

me when Season 9 of Shameless premieres on Sunday

I am choosing to review Broad City for these blog posts because it is a show that I would never typically watch. It seems like the quintessential millennial comedy- a dynamic duo of female twenty-somethings in New York City who get into wacky yet hilarious situations, usually to meet new people or get more money. I have heard countless rave reviews about this show, and I know that it has a uniquely quirky sense of humor that I believe is a refreshing step away from the conventional sitcom. I cannot wait to see what this series has in store for my late-night TV bingeing. 

Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, creators of Broad City

Fresh Off a Netflix Binge

Hey, y’all! My name is Bailey Moore and I’m from Norcross, GA. I’m a first- year BME student here at GT with a Spanish minor and an anticipated graduation date of 2022 (probably, hopefully, maybe in December #relatable ).

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me, still shook that we get to call enjoying TV homework

I was in the IB Diploma Programme in high school which meant a LOT of writing and speeches and more writing. This is my first English course at Tech, so I’m enjoying a little bit of a twist to the old monotonous English classes I dreaded in high school. Can you tell I’m a STEM major? I do, however, enjoy making infographics and doing oral presentations, especially creative ones rather than the long literary analysis speeches I’m used to because I feel interested and engaged myself when I use those methods of communication and I feel that the comfort and confidence of the communicator has a large effect on how the message is communicated. I struggle with nonverbal communication mainly because I haven’t practiced it or really looked into its significance. I am hoping to improve my nonverbal and electronic communication this semester, especially with infographics, body language, and voice tone, because I feel that they could contribute to making me appear more put- together and knowledgeable than I may be.

In reference to the course theme, I have a ton of experience with both TV and Feminism. I watch Netflix more than I’d like to admit and I even have a tattoo on my wrist of the equal sign which I got after the Women’s March here in ATL, but I haven’t previously combined these two passions, so I’m excited to see what the course has to offer. I also tend to watch the same types of shows when I watch. For leisure, I watch laid- back adult comedies like Modern Family, Bob’s Burgers, and The Big Bang Theory, and for Netflix binges, I go for thrilling dramas like Bloodline, Sherlock, and  Stranger Things. I hope that this course will show me new types of shows and let me expand my thinking about TV and how it can reflect our culture as an art form.

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I guess you could say I’m kinda an expert. heh. (10 points if you understand why I chose Emma Watson for this)


For this semester, I have chosen to review Fresh Off the Boat because I like that it shines a light on immigrants in America and I want to widen my scope of TV viewing to include a wider range of characters. It is about a first- generation Asian- American teenager who is uprooted from Chinatown DC to suburban Orlando with his family as his father chases the American Dream. Although the show is humorous, I also think that immigration is a huge topic in our political climate right now and I’m interested to see what opinion this show will argue. With that said, let’s get binging!!


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me, in the car, constantly irritating my friends by singing loudly and not well


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